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The Secrets Of High Magic * Francis Melvile (isbn 0764155350)

Where the original version of this book seems to presented as a serious one, I found my Dutch version (“Hoge Magie”) in a cheap-books-shop among the witchy magic and new-age books. It is bound in fake leather and the paper is cut to make it look old. It reminds of these expensive repressings of medieval grimoires or Adam MacLeans titles in his ‘Hermetic Sourceworks’ series.

In contradiction to being a happy and easy new-age magical book, this is a manual for ritual magic. It heavily draws upon medieval Solomonic magic (see my article about Angel Magic) and indeed Mathers “Abramelin” translation is listed in the short biography. Further Kabbalistic magic is dealt with separately, tarot, alchemy (with recipies), angel magic (speaking about magic squares!), talismans and at the end Eastern magic (“tattwa”). Practises and rituals in detail. Some background information is given, but not too much. The book aims at beginners (but serious ones I hope) however here and there some background knowledge is very helpfull. Also for people more into the subjects, this book can be handy. Not only the large amount of uncredited images in this lively and two-colour printed book makes it a feast of recognition, but there is even some info that I didn’t have in my ‘serious’ (?) books.

I suppose I can recommand this book to people who can’t find or afford classical practical magic works or who wants something in a more understandable language.
Melville has written more books about angels, alchemy and the like. This was my first encounter with the man.

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